Manu Sharma, Lauren Bultje, Lois Smedick Education professor Manu Sharma, psychology student Lauren Bultje representing Out on Campus, and professor emerita Lois Smedick received awards Wednesday from the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility.

Awards celebrate campus commitment to human rights and social justice

There are a lot of positive activities on campus that deserve celebration, says Kaye Johnson, director of the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility. The first annual OHREA awards reception, December 10 in the Odette Building, reflected the commitment to social justice.

“We are proud of what this university is doing,” Johnson says. “We hope other people are too, and that the examples we celebrate today act as a spur to action.”

Manu Sharma, an instructor in the Faculty of Education and Academic Development, received the Human Rights and Social Justice Award for her work organizing conferences to introduce elementary and secondary students to global issues.

She endorses the idea of the awards.

“It is good that there is a way to recognize human rights initiatives,” Dr, Sharma says. “I am very excited that this is encouraged and recognized. We can’t neglect something so important.”

Besides Sharma, award recipients included:

  • Richard Dumala, a recent retiree from Information Technology Services who received the Accessibility Award for his leadership in building accessibility into the University’s websites;
  • Professor emerita Lois Smedick, who received the Employment Equity Award for her pioneering work on the issue at the University of Windsor; and
  • The student club Out on Campus, which received the OHREA Award for advancing the culture of diversity and inclusivity for its efforts on behalf of understanding gender and sexual diversity.

UWindsor president Alan Wildeman addressed the reception to thank participants for their contributions to making the university a place where everyone can feel welcome and valued.